Here’s a good article on low-maintenance landscaping ideas by Earth Development Inc.
6 Low-Maintenance Landscaping Ideas
Lawn maintenance only has to be a high-maintenance, persnickety occupation if you want it to be. The truth is, many people find it gardening to be relaxing. For the rest of us, we’d rather strike a balance between beautiful and easy when it comes to yard work.
Low-maintenance landscaping doesn’t have to mean low-appeal. In fact, the opposite can be true. Sometimes a minimalist, low-maintenance landscape design can be the exact style your yard needs. Using these low-maintenance landscape ideas will give your yard some grandeur with minimal effort.
Raise Your Plants to a New Level with Flower Pots
Potted plants aren’t just for indoor greenery. On the contrary—potted plants will be happy and thrive outside more than they would inside. In cases where digging up your yard feels daunting, don’t be afraid to go the potted route. A raised array of potted plants can give your landscaping plenty of charm with very little effort and almost zero upkeep. Just be mindful of what you’re potting and be ready to transplant your plants to a larger pot when the time comes.
Not only is using pots an easy way to show off your landscaping but it doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. Instead of driving over to the nearest big-box retailer and filling your cart with intricate terra cotta, scour your neighborhood for secondhand flower pots pr upcycle used containers you already have. Much of the time you can find pots on the curb for free. During yard sale and garage sale season, you’ll more than likely find more pots that you need at discounted prices. Not only are you giving these items a new lease on life but you’re saving money at the same time!
Invest in Garden Lighting
One of the most overlooked landscaping tricks is lighting. An array of lights that illuminate walkways or brighten up the corners of your yard can turn a relatively generic lawn into something magnificent. Most light sources work on solar power, meaning they are cheap to operate and easy to maintain.
Try looking at your lawn as if it were a stage. What deserves the spotlight? Where do you want peoples’ attention to wander? The answers to these questions can help inform your lighting decisions. And as cheap as solar yard lights are, you should be able to afford as many as you need.
You might be wondering what “xeriscaping” is. Wikipedia defines it as:
“Xeriscaping is the process of landscaping or gardening that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water from irrigation. It is promoted in regions that do not have accessible, plentiful, or reliable supplies of freshwater and is gaining acceptance in other regions as access to irrigation water is becoming limited. Xeriscaping may be an alternative to various types of traditional gardening.”
To put it simply, a xeriscape is one of the most beautiful yet low maintenance garden designs out there. Forgo grass in favor of gravel and stone and plant drought-resistant greenery that requires no or low watering. There are plenty of plants that will thrive in this ecosystem and even flower! Succulents are a great choice but there are many others.
Dedicate a Portion of Your Yard to Outdoor Living Space
Who says your entire yard needs to be green? A well-curated outdoor living space can enhance your landscaping to create an entertaining space for you and your guests. With outdoor furniture, the sky is the limit. There are plenty of budget-friendly options that still look great.
The best thing about an outdoor room is that it requires almost no maintenance. Nothing needs to be watered, weeded, or mowed.
Replace Grass with Mulch
Grass isn’t always the best choice in surrounding your garden beds. Grass isn’t doing the rest of your greenery any favors—it’ll compete for water and nutrients while doing little to prevent weeds. On the other hand, mulch will naturally break down, thereby fertilizing your plants. Better yet, it’s a natural weed preventative.
Now, you wouldn’t replace your entire yard with mulch, but it’s a great option for creating points of interest in and around the rest of your landscaping. Think of your yard as a canvas—you have the green of grass, but the mulch is a base layer for which you paint over top of.
If you ask any horticulturist for a quick, low-maintenance idea to spruce up your yard and you’ll hear this common piece of advice most often, “plant lavender.” Lavender is a hardy, versatile plant that needs very little water, seeds itself, and will come back thicker and more luxurious year after year.
Best of all, once it blooms, lavender adds a brilliant, delicate purple to your yard and a magnificent fragrance. As the lavender blooms mature, you can even cut them, dry them, and use them in your home for potpourri. Some dedicated lavender-lovers even cook with the stuff.
Low-Maintenance Doesn’t Mean No Maintenance
Whatever you decide on for your low-maintenance yard, just remember that a low-maintenance garden doesn’t mean no maintenance. You’ll still want to pay attention to the details and put forth your best effort. However, the fruits of your labor will pay off tenfold if you landscape your space thoughtfully. Just think of the peace of mind you’ll feel when you settle down in a chair on a warm, sunny summer afternoon and admire your handiwork.
But sometimes, when you want to go for a manicured look for your home’s exterior and beyond, you need professional help.